Monday, May 20, 2013


In New York distance, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a straight six block walk from my house but this is LA so I drive. I pull up in front of the establishment and give my car keys to a person with a heavy foreign accent wearing a red vest. I assume he is the valet but there is nothing to indicate this except the vest and an over-eagerness to drive away in my car. I watch as he finds a parking place on my street about a block from my house, I should have suggested that he just park it in my driveway.
I walk inside the Coffee Bean and immediately the smell of fresh coffee inspires me to start typing. But first I have to locate the perfect table from which to write. It is not crowded today I have my pick of places. I decide that I will occupy the small table by the front window. I can watch the people walking by and immerse myself in the process of creation. I am really looking forward to sitting here, starting my week off with a well written, well thought out missive of social importance. I step to the cash register and encounter a new barrister on duty. "I'll have a double expresso with an extra shot." I say almost by rote.
"So you want a triple expresso?" she said.
It took me a moment to process the fact that indeed it was the same order. Although I have been ordering that same drink since I started coming here, no one has ever called it a "triple expresso" before this moment. Obviously she was new.
As I am paying the girl says, "I think that I have seen you on television, haven't I?"
In my best interpretation of humility I say, "Yes if you look quickly and watch old television shows."
"I knew it. I knew I'd seen you before and I thought it was on one of those old shows."
OUCH... but then she quickly attempted to redeem herself.
"How is your script coming?"
Before I answer I wonder how she knows what I am up to? I am working on two different writing projects right now. One is a stage play and one is a screen play, but how does she know.. and which script is she asking about. Saying, "which one" is too egotistical so I cop out with a place holder answer, until I get more information I say-
"Or whatever it is that you're writing. You are a writer now, right?" She said.
"How did you know that... because I ordered a stiff coffee and have a lap top in hand?"
Counting out the proper change and says, "It wasn't so much that as it is... I have noticed most old actors don't really retire, they just become writers." I am rendered silent during the brief moment she delivers my receipt -
"Is that for here or is it to go?" she asks.
I look around to see that my favorite table by the window is now being occupied by an elderly gentleman stooped over an old Dell lap top typing with two arthritic fingers. He looks familiar... isn't he the guy that used to be the one who played....
"I'll take it TO GO, thanks."
As you were,


Margaret A. Flanagan said...

Oh, please keep writing and working, no matter what she thinks, you are terrific!

John Ivy said...

That's like something out of "Louie" - hilarious and horrifying!